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So the wife and I are trying to figure out what sorts of options are available for saving for the future of our new family member.
We seem to have three options for Illinois 529 plans - two of them being stock-market fund type plans, and one being more of an amortized payment sort of thing.
The disadvantage on the amortized (College Illinois) plan is obvious: there's no payment flexibility. No prepayment penalty, but not really any option to start paying a lesser amount in and pay more later.
The problem with the stock market funds is that my wife tends to be very financially conservative - in that she doesn't really trust the stock market at all, and would take it badly if our college fund started losing money one year because some asshole bankers caused and collapsed another bubble. Also, there are some annual % fees on the accounts which would decrease the yield some.
Are there other things we should be looking at? Are there other tax-deductible ways to save for future education expenses, or are 529s it? Do we need to just get over it and put the money into the stock market?